Our Board of Trustees

There are 12 Trustees appointed by the Minister of Finance. They are selected for their professional or community-based experience, and must live within the Trust’s region.  Appointments are usually for a four-year period. 

For information on how to become a Trustee, click here

TRUSTEE CHAIR
GEORGINA MORRISON
Pahiatua

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Georgina Morrison comes from rural Tararua, and resides on her husband’s family dairy farm near Pahiatua, with their two young children.

Georgina studied at Massey University, and is currently the Executive Officer for Environment Hubs Aotearoa, and a facilitator for Enviroschools in Tararua and Palmerston North. She holds governance roles at Pukaha Mt Bruce and Pahiatua Primary School.

“I enjoy being part of an organisation that truly seeks to support and empower communities from the grassroots up.”

TRUSTEE-Deputy chair
TROY HOBSON
Levin

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Troy was elected to Eastern and Central Community Trust Board in August 2021, representing the Horowhenua region.

Troy has over 25 years’ experience in the finance and banking industry in both New Zealand and the UK dealing with complex financial instruments, as well as an established executive leadership career in agribusiness management and governance of iwi farming and commercial property interests.

In 2013-2014, he acted as a member of the Commercial Negotiations Advisor for the interests of all Ngäti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa-Tämaki Nui a Rua in its Treaty of Waitangi settlement negotiations with the Crown and has been an active Trustee of Tahamata Incorporation, an Iwi owned Dairy Farming Business located in the Horowhenua District, since 2003.

Troy holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree in AgriBusiness from Lincoln University, with additional banking qualifications from the ASX and NZX. He is a member of the NZ Institute of Directors.

TRUSTEE
BRENDAN DUFFY, ONZM, JP
Levin

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Raised in Levin, Brendan spent his secondary school years as a boarder at St Patrick’s College Silverstream.

Having worked in the poultry industry for 15 years he went on to establish Canvasland, a fabric manufacturing business, in 1987 along with his wife, Sheryl. They sold it in 2017.

Brendan served as president of the industry association, OFPANZ, and was subsequently awarded life membership. He was elected to the Horowhenua District Council in 1995 and was District Mayor from 2004 until 2016.

Brendan has held various chair and presidential roles on a number of committees and boards. He is currently a volunteer member of Business Kapiti Horowhenua Incorporated and is involved in various business advisory rolls, which satisfies his deep interest in community advocacy.

“The opportunity to be involved with Eastern and Central Community Trust to support those who support others is a perfect fit for me,” Brendan says.

TRUSTEE
RENA KOHERE
Gisborne

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Ko Hikurangi te maunga
Ko Waiapu te awa
Ko Ngāti Porou te iwi
Ko Te Whānau a Tarahauiti, Te Whānau a Hunaara, me Te Whānau a Rerewa ōku hapū
Ko Mātahi o Te Tau me Hinepare ōku marae

Ko Rongowhakaata, Te Aitanga a Mahaki, me Ngāi Tahu hoki ōku iwi.

Rena was appointed to the Eastern & Central Community Trust Board in September 2020.

Rena grew up on the East Coast – on whānau land at the East Cape Lighthouse, Te Araroa.

After almost 20 years in Wellington, Rena and her husband, Stefan, brought their four children back to Gisborne in 2017.

Rena is currently the Manager of the Tairāwhiti Environment Centre, which is a community organisation focused on environmental education, waste minimisation, and biodiversity.  Her professional background includes the sustainable business, environmental not-for-profits and Māori heritage sectors.

Underpinning Rena’s personal and professional life are her core values of whanaungatanga, accountability, inclusion and aroha, which guide and inform her commitment to whānau, hapū, iwi, community and environment.

“I believe that communities understand best what works for them and that community-led solutions have the best chance of creating real value and change.

“I am proud to be part of ECCT as it is an organisation that places community connection and collaboration at the heart of its work.”

TRUSTEE
GAIL MUNRO
Palmerston North

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Gail was appointed to the Eastern and Central Community Trust Board in September 2020.

Gail has a background in both community development, social services and governance.

A commitment and interest in social justice and equitable outcomes for communities has led her to work voluntarily with former refugee communities, assisting them to become incorporated societies and governors, so they have legal entities as vehicles to achieve their aspirations.

Gail was a board member and subsequently Chair of the Workbridge Board for eight years before recently being appointed Chair of the MidCentral District Health Board Consumer Council.

Gail, who has a partner and two adult sons, says she is keen to support the efforts of communities to fulfill their own dreams and projects through the equitable allocation of resources.

TRUSTEE
SARAH PAKU
Wairoa

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Of Ngati Kahungunu descent, Sarah was raised in Whakaki and continues to live in Wairoa with husband Max and eldest daughter Karen (Kaz) who returned to Wairoa two years ago to teach in Frasertown.

Sarah, a Registered Nurse for the past 30 plus years has spent the last 20 years working for Kahungunu Executive ki te Wairoa Charitable Trust (the local Maori Health Provider) with the last ten years spent in management.

Her present role as the General Manager gives her oversight of the health, mental health, social services and housing services for the Wairoa Community.

Sarah is passionate about her Whanau, all things that lead to health and wellness, Wairoa, its people, Kahungunu Executive and its staff.  One of the newbies on the Trust, Sarah is keen to be a part of the Board and looks forward to progressing the Trust's vision of "building stronger, more sustainable communities" for the region and Wairoa.

TRUSTEE
WHITI TIMUTIMU
Gisborne

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Ko Ngāti Porou, Ngāi Tūhoe me Ngāti Awa nga iwi

Ko Hikurangi, Taiarahia me Putauaki nga maunga

Ko Waiapu, Ohinemataroa me Rangitaiki nga awa

Ko Rongohaere, Te Rewarewa me Uiraroa nga marae

Ko Te Aitanga a Mate, Te Mahurehure me Ngai Tama Wera nga hapu

Ko Juanita Whitiaira Timutimu ahau.

Whiti was raised in the Eastern Bay of Plenty in Ruatoki and has been living and working in Tairāwhiti since 2003. She and her wife Kristin live in Manutuke with daughter Maia who is 15.

Whiti works in the New Zealand Police and has spent 14 years working with whanau, hapu and iwi across the country.

In her personal time she is a ‘Social Entrepreneur’ and spends the majority of her time investing in the potential of others by creating solutions for issues in communities.

She has three mentoring programmes aimed at supporting young people (at risk school kids, LGBTQI youth, and children with a parent in prison).

Her passion is with creating long-term, sustainable solutions for whānau, hapū, iwi and communities.

“I feel privileged to be a part of the trust and look forward to the ‘transformation’ our funding will make for all communities.”

TRUSTEE
LEVI WALFORD
Hawke’s Bay

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(Ngāti Rākaipaaka, Ngāti Kahungunu ki Heretaunga)

Levi was born and bred in Hastings, and maintains his Mum’s whakapapa to Ngā Nuhaka in Wairoa. He has a degree in sociology and development studies from Victoria University of Wellington, and returned to the region in 2017 to focus on providing opportunities for others, establishing new projects, and finding innovative and sustainable ways to deliver positive, intergenerational impact within Hawke’s Bay.

A company director and mentor, Levi serves on several government-appointed boards providing a youth perspective, as well as actively engaging with young people to build networks of knowledge and support.

“My drive for this mahi is to help create the best opportunities for our young people, growing and supporting the next generation of movers and shakers to build on the progress made up to this point. Alongside this, I work to address the asking and bringing of our rangatahi into these spaces, without the appropriate environment. This means ensuring the systems, supports, culture and processes are all conducive to allowing them to thrive within that space, and to what is being asked of them.” 

TRUSTEE
JOSIE WILLIS
Central Hawke’s Bay

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Josie was appointed to Eastern and Central Trust in August 2021.

Born and educated in Gisborne, Josie studied and taught at Massey University in the Department of Business Studies. She is a qualified accountant and a Chartered Member of the Institute of Directors.

Since 1980 she has lived in Porangahau, Central Hawke’s Bay, farming in partnership with her husband, Donald.

Josie previously served on the Central Hawke’s Bay Power Consumers Trust as the appointee of the Central Hawke’s Bay District Council, and as a Director of Centralines Ltd. She is presently on the Hawke’s Bay Regional Board of Hohepa Homes.

Josie has been involved with a broad spectrum of community organisations as Treasurer or Honorary Auditor. She understands the value of grassroots community organisations in the social fabric of Aotearoa. And she knows how hard it can be to find the money that makes solutions possible.

“It’s a huge privilege to support the supporters – the heart of our community.”